Rietschel gable

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Rietschel gable at the Burgtheater in Bautzen

The Rietschel gable was created in 1840 by the sculptor Ernst Rietschel . The group of figures with the title “Allegory of Tragedy” originally attached to the north wall of the first court theater in Dresden can be seen today at the Burgtheater on the Ortenburg in Bautzen .


The group of figures shows the most important scenes from the 2nd and 3rd part of 458 BC. " Orestie " trilogy ended by Aeschylus (ie the tragedies "Choephoroi" and "Eumenides").


Ernst Rietschel completed the “Tragedy” gable panel in 1840 as part of the allegorical figure program at the first court theater by the architect Gottfried Semper in Dresden. The program also included the gable group “Representation of Music” and the individual figures of the poets Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller as well as the composers Christoph Willibald Gluck and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart .

After the theater fire on September 21, 1869, the gable field "Tragedy" and the four individual figures were saved from the fire ruins, the gable group "Representation of Music" was destroyed by the fire. When the second court theater was built (1871–1878), however, the works of art that had been rescued were no longer used and were forgotten in the depot of the royal sculpture collection .

After many years of efforts by the Mayor of Bautzen, Johannes Käubler , the Saxon king donated the group of figures to the city of Bautzen in 1902. In 1905, after a restoration, the group was installed in the east gable of the Bautzner Stadttheater am Lauengraben. The city probably wanted to upgrade the theater, which had been converted from a fortification, with the esprit of a residential city. The pre-faded display facade quoted the architecture of the Dresden court theater.

In the last days of the Second World War , the city of Bautzen suffered severe war damage. The group of figures was only slightly damaged and could be restored in 1952. As a result of an urban development competition, after which the Bautzen suburbs were to be redesigned into socialist residential complexes, the city theater was demolished in 1969. When the new theater was built elsewhere in 1975, the figures were not reinstalled. After the figures had been stored at various locations in Bautzen, they were brought to Quatitz , a village north of the city, in 1976 .

On the occasion of the exhibition on the 100th anniversary of Gottfried Semper's death in 1979, the figures were exhibited in the Albertinum in Dresden. The frequent transports damaged the figures. An attempt to set up the characters at the German-Sorbian People's Theater in Bautzen in 1989 failed in the turmoil. The figures were relocated to the Künstlerhaus Nadelwitz .

The figures, which have been in the ownership of the city of Bautzen again since 1993, were exhibited in the Weigang Palm House in 1995 and thus accessible to the public again. After controversial discussions about the new location, the characters were given their location, protected by a glass front, in the new building of the puppet theater, the so-called Burgtheater, on the Ortenburg in 2003.

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Coordinates: 51 ° 10 ′ 58.6 "  N , 14 ° 25 ′ 10.4"  E